The Minotaur

The Minotaur

A Novel

Book - 2005
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As soon as Kerstin Kvist arrives at remote, ivy-covered Lydstep Old Hall in Essex, she feels like a character in a gothic novel. A young nurse fresh out of school, Kerstin has been hired for a position with the Cosway family, residents of the Hall for generations. She is soon introduced to her "charge," John Cosway, a thirty-nine-year-old man whose strange behavior is vaguely explained by his mother and sisters as part of the madness that runs in the family. Weeks go by at Lydstep with little to mark the passage of time beyond John's daily walks and the amusingly provincial happenings that engross the Cosway women, and Kerstin occupies her many free hours at the Hall reading or making entries into her diary. Meanwhile, bitter wrangling among Julia Cosway and her four grown daughters becomes increasingly evident. But this is just the most obvious of the tensions that charge the old remote estate, with its sealed rooms full of mystery. Soon Kerstin will find herself in possession of knowledge she will wish she'd never attained, secrets that will propel the occupants of Lydstep Old Hall headlong into sexual obsession, betrayal, and, finally, murder. Also available in a Random House Large Print edition and as an eBook
Publisher: New York : Shaye Areheart Books, c2005
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780307237606
Branch Call Number: FICTION Vine
Characteristics: 341 p. ; 25 cm


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Mar 03, 2015

I really enjoyed this book with all it's colourful characters.
lots of twists and turns in the plot and a good ending.

xaipe Jun 18, 2014

Modern Gothic set in a gloomy countryside mansion in a remote part of Essex. The story takes place in the 1960's. The narrator, a Swedish woman named Kerstin Kvist whose first name is pronounced "Shashtin" (?), is a trained nurse who accepts a position caring for John who is most probably profoundly autistic in an era before this was a diagnosis. Other characters are the pathologically domineering matriarch, 2 middle aged love-starved sisters who vie for the local vicar's and local artist's attentions, and a third sister who has a mysterious background and whose paternity is questionable. Add a vast library which is constructed like a labyrinthine maze where John loves to hide and you have "The Woman in White" and "Jane Eyre" to complete the Victorian genre. Barbara Vine's sly observations of British mannerisms and customs make this a very stylish novel. In other less capable hands, it would have been a potboiler, but it was fun to read even though there were no ripped bodices.


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